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Steps Magazine | Building for the Future: CSUSM prepares to open new Social and Behavioral Sciences Building in 2011

On September 24, CSUSM administrators, faculty, staff, and friends came together to celebrate another major milestone for the University — the official beam signing ceremony for the state-of-the-art Social and Behavioral Sciences Building (SBSB). Scheduled to open in 2011, SBSB will serve as the flagship building for the College of Arts and Sciences (CoAS).As the name implies, SBSB will bring all of the College's social and behavioral science disciplines together under one roof. Interim CoAS Dean Jennifer Jeffries believes that this fusion of the social and behavioral science disciplines, combined with the building's close proximity to existing science and arts facilities, will enhance the College's already strong reputation for interdisciplinary teaching and research.At 106,509 gross square feet, SBSB will be the largest classroom and office building on the CSUSM campus. The building's six classrooms and 13 lab facilities will offer seating for 739 total students. In addition, SBSB will house the CoAS Dean's Suite, 125 faculty offices, 14 academic department suites, seven conference rooms, two centers, and research space for graduate students.Cal State San Marcos has always had a reputation for building facilities that are both technologically-advanced and environmentally-friendly, but SBSB will set a new campus standard for building design. As with all previous campus facilities, the building will feature smart classrooms that facilitate interactive, technology-driven lectures, as well as wired and wireless Internet access for all building occupants and guests. As the first CSUSM facility designed to meet the requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification, SBSB will also boast a variety of important sustainable and "green" features. These innovations include: white reflective rooftop surfaces, energy-efficient windows, sustainable building materials, environmentally-friendly paints, and a creek bed that will act as both an aesthetically-pleasing element of the building's courtyard and a way to channel and filter rooftop runoff before it reaches the storm drain.While the building itself is impressive, perhaps the most exciting aspects of SBSB are the unique and innovative labs that will take residence inside its walls. One such lab is the Community Ethnobotany Lab. Directed by Anthropology Department Chair Bonnie Bade, this lab will offer a truly engaging interdisciplinary experience for students and community members alike. For example, the lab will allow for the documentation, analysis, processing, and storage of medicinal and native plant specimens. These plants can then be used to create medicinal products.Other notable labs include: the Daniels Communication Lab, the Behavioral Neuroscience Lab, and the Geographic Information Systems Lab (see "SBSB to House Research Labs" below for additional information).In order for these labs — and the building as a whole — to reach their full potential, private support is needed. While the construction of SBSB is funded by state bond money, these funds only pay for the building itself, as well as fixed items like lighting and floor tiles. Many critical accessories like computers, science equipment, and some furniture — the very items that will have the greatest impact on student success — are not fully funded by the state.To bridge this funding gap, CoAS and University Advancement are providing numerous opportunities to name the Social and Behavioral Sciences Building and its labs, rooms, and offices. These SBSB naming opportunities are a wonderful way to honor or memorialize an individual or family, or to enhance corporate visibility. For a full list of SBSB naming opportunities, please view the table at right. Your generosity will ensure a bright future for the social and behavioral sciences at Cal State San Marcos.SBSB to House Research LabsBehavioral Neuroscience LabThe Behavioral Neuroscience Lab at CSUSM is at the forefront of behavioral biology research. Faculty are using animal models to study brain function and behavior, particularly in the areas of drug abuse and addiction, depression, and pain.Community Ethnobotany LabFrom cultural displays to traditional dance performances to botanical research activities, all will take place in the planned Community Ethnobotany Lab. The lab will be the focal point for the Anthropology Department at CSUSM and will be an integral component of the new Social and Behavioral Sciences Building.The Daniels Communication LabThe rapidly changing technological environment in the communication media field demands a workforce that is prepared to use modern technology to effectively communicate ideas. At CSUSM the Daniels Communication Lab provides students with access to state-of-the art equipment and technical support in a learning community environment. In the lab, students gain valuable hands-on experience in applying classroom theory to assignments in media production graphics, web design, and audio and video productions. Students utilize the lab to record, transcribe, and present research interviews; create short video documentaries; produce "guerilla media" news spots; and receive technical support for all courseworkrelated assignments.The Geographical Information Systems (GIS) LabCoAS has assumed a leadership role in creating the new GIS Lab at CSUSM. GIS is computer software and hardware which allows for the collection, storage, analysis, management, and presentation of data linked to location. GIS tools allow its users to create searches, analyze spatial information, edit data, and present the results. The new lab will be shared by all disciplines on campus for research and instructional purposes.